“Visegrád unity is crystal clear on the topic of migration, which is the most important issue with relation to the European Union, and the 2015 decision on mandatory quotas violated the EU treaties”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó declared in Warsaw at a press conference held jointly with Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski.

Mr. Szijjártó reminded the press that Hungary and Slovakia had previously turned to the European Court of Justice with relation to the quotas, and Poland had intervened in the case in their support, while the Czech Republic has also made it clear that it will not be participating in the refugee distribution process.

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“The mandatory refugee resettlement quota is unacceptable to Hungary”, the Hungarian Foreign Minister confirmed. “It is unacceptable, because it goes against common sense, because it is impossible to implement, and also because the decision on the mandatory quotas violated the EU treaties”, he explained.

EU member states cannot be forced to give up their right “to decide themselves who they will allow into their countries”, he stressed.

“And as for the possible linking of migration policy to cohesion funding, we regard that as nothing less than blackmail”, Mr. Szijjártó said, explaining that “No European member state can be blackmailed with the fact that the decision on whether or not they will receive the monies that are otherwise due to them will be made on a political basis”. “We will resist these blackmail attempts”, he emphasised.

In reply to a question concerning the announcement by the European Commission that the body would be launching infringement proceedings against countries who have so far failed to accept migrants within the framework of the mandatory quota as early as this week, the Hungarian Foreign Minister said: the EC’s objections “are of a political nature, not a legal one”, and are aimed at weakening the Hungarian and Polish governments.

Mr Szijjártó told reporters he and Witold Waszczykowski had agreed that the Brussels body “often oversteps its sphere of competence” and often “proves to be a political tool for correcting the politics of various countries”. “We will never allow the EC to threaten and blackmail us for political reasons, and we will also never allow the Brussels bureaucrats to remove spheres of competence that are the business of member states”, Mr Szijjártó highlighted.

Mr. Waszczykowski also said he regarded the behaviour of the EC as blackmail, stressing that “Warsaw never agreed to member states who do not accept refugees being punished by the withdrawal of EU funding”. “The two issues cannot be linked, because EU funding is set down in the basic treaty”, he stated.

He called attempts to forcibly move people from one country to another within the framework of the refugee distributions system “inhumane and anachronistic”.

During their meeting, the two Ministers signed an agreement on the mutual regulation of the legal status of diplomatic properties.

On Monday afternoon, Witold Waszczykowski, peter Szijjártó and Hungarian Interior Minister Sándor Pintér, who is also in Warsaw, will attend the opening of a comprehensive exhibition of Hungarian photography held in the capital’s national Museum. The “Their Viewpoint. A Panorama of Hungarian Photography” exhibition is part of a series of programs in Poland’s Hungarian Cultural Season.